Congressmen introduce bill to improve health of L.I. Sound

07/23/2010 12:00 AM |

Congressmen Tim Bishop and Peter King introduced a plan Friday they
say will protect the health of the Long Island Sound by guarding against
pollutants and improving overall water quality.

The Long Island
Sound Improvement Act of 2010, which the two Long Island Congressmen
said they will introduce in the House Monday, renews and expands the
Long Island Sound Study.

The legislation authorizes the
continuation of $40 million toward improving the health of the Sound
while securing an additional $125 million in 2011 and $250 million each
year through 2015. The funds are designated for wastewater
infrastructure repair, construction, and upgrades. The upgrades will
include stormwater systems, and low impact design technology and
approaches.

“We simply need it,” Mr. Bishop (D-Southampton) said.
“It is not a burden local governments can carry.”

Suffolk County
Legislator Edward Romaine, whose district runs from Orient Point to
Wading River along the Long Island Sound, welcomed the renewal and
expansion.

“We need to work to make the sound, which has become a
dump, pristine again,” Mr. Romaine said. “It’s something that has become
critical.”

Other aspects of the legislation include increasing
accountability by requiring the Long Island Sound Program to be
evaluated every two years for its effectiveness and extending its
footprint through the whole watershed that drains into Long Island Sound
— parts of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massacusetts, Vermont
and New Hampshire.

The legislation will also require local
governments in urbanized areas within the Long Island Sound watershed
that discharge stormwater through a storm sewer system to comply with
stricter provisions. The legislation will also direct the Environmental
Protection Agency to develop new regulations for municipalities seeking
permits to install stormwater drainage systems.

peggy@northshoresun.com

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